This week Will received one of his magazines in the mail after school, and as soon as he saw it, he dropped his backpack at the front door and cracked open the cover. The theme of this particular issue was "Creepy Crawlers", and inside was a quiz about bugs that Will was insistant I take. Now I really did not want to take this quiz; there are many details about insects of which I would rather remain blissfully unaware. But because I like to encourage Will's enthusiasm for science and learning, I feigned eagerness and agreed to give it a go.
I did surprisingly well on the first several questions. They were pleasantly non-frightening and even interesting ones about ladybugs' spots and the ways in which ants communicate with each other, and as Will read each question aloud to me, I began to relax and become more fully engaged. By the time we got to the questions about whether Daddy-long-legs were spiders or not and how aquatic bugs breathe underwater, I was actually quite enjoying myself, and was very pleased about getting all of the answers right. And then Will came to question number ten and asked me whether it was true or false that cockroaches can live without their heads for a week.
I did not see this coming at all (it was foolish of me to have let down my guard, I know!), and I was suddenly and utterly revolted as I pictured headless cockroaches skittering all over the place. What kind of person thinks it's a good idea to include these kinds of questions in a children's magazine, so that young boys can inadvertantly torment their mothers by repeating such horrifying facts? (Oh, and by the way, the answer to the question is true.) I was so frazzled by this piece of information that when Will moved on and asked me a question about butterflies, I got it wrong, but he wouldn't let me off the hook until I had finished the entire quiz. By the time we got to the question about whether centipedes were plant eaters or not, I was in a complete panic (because what if they're not plant eaters? What if they're carnivorous beasts that wait for you to fall asleep and then... (shudder). I have seen centipedes in my bedroom before, people!!).
I somehow managed to finish the quiz with a score of 14 out of 15, and when it was over Will looked impressed and said to me admiringly, "You're good." Oh, I'm good alright. Good and paranoid now about bugs with no heads that somehow manage to stay alive for a week. This morning I saw this little creepy thing trying to find a way to weasel himself inside my house through the doorbell button.
Despite my strong showing on the insect quiz, I have no idea what kind of bug he is. I hope to goodness that one of the boys' books will tell me he's a plant eater.